Why I'm no longer a Marxist - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15127574
Unthinking Majority wrote:
In response to my friend @ckaihatsu:



We're not friends, and never have been -- you're making that up.


Unthinking Majority wrote:
Go get laid & go get paid.



Lifestylism cannot substitute for politics.


History, Macro-Micro -- politics-logistics-lifestyle

Spoiler: show
Image
#15127614
ckaihatsu wrote:We're not friends, and never have been -- you're making that up.

Well, I like conversing with you, is what I meant. I may not agree with many of your political opinions but you're usually a cordial guy to debate with. With the exception of the last day or so when you've been pretty cranky towards me :p

If you'd like to remain cordial, great, i'd much prefer that. If not then go fuck yourself.

Lifestylism cannot substitute for politics.

Spending time thinking and discussing politics is a lifestyle, it's a choice. My point is, we have a finite number of hours to spend on this earth, so we should choose wisely. Consider the tens of thousands of hours in total we've all spent on these message boards, and what exactly has been accomplished from it?
#15127629
Unthinking Majority wrote:I didn't, I specifically mentioned the American Revolution as well as the US constitution.

My fault, I was quite rushed in typing on my phone and didn't properly check as thoroughly as I should've. Though my prompt was mostly to try and get you to reflect on what your attitude was to the American revolution itself as I think this is in part where the hesitation lies.
I imagine you might enjoy looking at Thomas Jefferson who is quite the revolutionary in his attitude and has a lot to say in regards to the revolution.
https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/jefferson/202.html
the generation which commences a revolution rarely completes it. habituated from their infancy to passive submission of body and mind to their kings and priests, they are not qualified, when called on, to think and provide for themselves and their inexperience, their ignorance and bigotry make them instruments often, in the hands of the Bonapartes and Iturbides to defeat their own rights and purposes.

http://tjrs.monticello.org/letter/1384
Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the Covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment... laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind... as that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, institutions must advance also, to keep pace with the times.... We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain forever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.

https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-28-02-0196
It is unfortunate that the efforts of mankind to recover the freedom of which they have been so long deprived, will be accompanied with violence, with errors, and even with crimes. But while we weep over the means, we must pray for the end."

http://tjrs.monticello.org/letter/124
We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a feather-bed


But then perhaps you don't question the methods so much as the issue of how one justifies a course of action for which can't be justified on the best intentions. If that is the case I can pursue that a little further.
As it has to do with means and ends and how one can't justify actions today based on a future state that doesn't exist
This seems like a US-centric view. There are a healthy amount of leftist parties in the West outside of the US. Not typically hardcore Marxists but many social democratic parties.

I'm not sure I view the left in most western nations as that strong and significant.
#15127664
Rancid wrote:
I think the overall premise here is that basically Marxist want to upend everything in the current world, without really understanding if their ideas would really work. Further, the reason so many of us are against this, is that we don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water. :)



What are your objections, exactly?


Unthinking Majority wrote:
Marxists want to minimize competition with the main goal being cooperation for the common good, but one of the problems is how do you enforce this and deal with people who act self-interested? How do you ensure people put in maximum effort when the benefit is not to themselves but to the common good? There's incentive to not work hard when there's little/no personal consequences and little/no personal reward to work harder. You see that in a lot of union environments.



None of these 'post-capitalist' 'concerns' need to be *regulated*, or *enforced* -- there's no government in communism, and no markets / exchanges, of course.

There's no either-or, as you posit -- people can be as self-interested, and self-centered as they'd like to be, and that wouldn't be any threat to a collectivist society (no extra-personal private accumulations, though).

People *wouldn't* have to work hard, or even *care*, really -- but on the whole less effort would mean a lower general standard of living for *everyone*, until full-automation is achieved (as industrialization had to be done, under capitalism).

Workers under capitalist property relations have no *incentive* to work harder for the boss because it's not like they would be *rewarded* for it, or see their wages go up. Wages have *stagnated* while workers' productivity has *increased*:

Image


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
We're not friends, and never have been -- you're making that up.



Unthinking Majority wrote:
Well, I like conversing with you, is what I meant. I may not agree with many of your political opinions but you're usually a cordial guy to debate with. With the exception of the last day or so when you've been pretty cranky towards me :p



Yeah, those are my personal projects talking -- then PoFo gets knocked down a peg or two, and everyone on it. (grin)


Unthinking Majority wrote:
If you'd like to remain cordial, great, i'd much prefer that. If not then go fuck yourself.



I've *attempted* that but it turns out there's too much slack in my dick.


= D


Unthinking Majority wrote:
Go get laid & go get paid.



ckaihatsu wrote:
Lifestylism cannot substitute for politics.



Unthinking Majority wrote:
Spending time thinking and discussing politics is a lifestyle, it's a choice. My point is, we have a finite number of hours to spend on this earth, so we should choose wisely. Consider the tens of thousands of hours in total we've all spent on these message boards, and what exactly has been accomplished from it?



Yeah, nice try. Your days of wriggling are *over*.
#15127674
ckaihatsu wrote:What are your objections, exactly?


The current system is working well for me, so why should I call for revolution? The amount of upward mobility that has happened between my grandmothers generation and me is astronomical.

This is why there isn't going to be a revolution anytime soon. Life is still too good for many people.

That said, the current system certainly feels unsustainable, but that doesn't mean a revolution is required to fix it either (i.e. don't throw the baby out with the bath water).

In short, better the devil I know (capitalism), than the devil I don't know (communism).
#15127677
ckaihatsu wrote:People *wouldn't* have to work hard, or even *care*, really -- but on the whole less effort would mean a lower general standard of living for *everyone*, until full-automation is achieved (as industrialization had to be done, under capitalism).

So if there's 10 people on your team and 9 are working hard, and you want to work half-assed, the cost to society is low, but your personal gains are high (less work to do, can relax a bit, chat with friends, text your bestie).

Workers under capitalist property relations have no *incentive* to work harder for the boss because it's not like they would be *rewarded* for it, or see their wages go up. Wages have *stagnated* while workers' productivity has *increased*

The incentive to work hard is to not get fired. If your boss says "work hard" and there's 10 resumes on the boss's desk from people he interviewed last week for another position and they're ready to work hard and you go half-ass, you're gone.

Your idea of the corporate world is like a caricature. Have you ever worked for a large company? This will sound condescending again, but the corporate and business experience of many Marxists so numerous among 20-year old college students and most of their professors typically consists of a few summers working at Starbucks. Bullshit always works better on paper than under the complex dynamics and variables of the real world.
#15127693
Unthinking Majority wrote:The incentive to work hard is to not get fired. If your boss says "work hard" and there's 10 resumes on the boss's desk from people he interviewed last week for another position and they're ready to work hard and you go half-ass, you're gone.


There are laws to prevent employers just firing anyone unless you Yanks has also taken away workers rights. So you are wrong. But considering you read Marx you would know high unemployment figures benefit the bourgeoisie and not the proletariat anyway so this is just another factor in workers understanding their class distinction which might cause revolution.

Besides, we know Communism works for the very basic fact that all social animals except for one on Earth rule under it and Kropotkin has shown that we have communal traits under Mutual Aid. But what we have today is that people would rather maintain what they have despite whether it is fair to them or not because of Cold War mentality. You can't stop that. But things are only getting worse and eventually the wealth divide will extend to such an extent that under depression conditions, even Americans might revolt because history has shown that under extreme hardship people will fight for something new regardless what might come thereafter even if the first fight is merely throwing tea into the sea.

I guess what I am saying is that even Capitalism has a shelf life. And that what we can expect after it is something more fairer because people are more educated now then they were yesteryear. Whether that is Socialism, Communism or Anarchism I don't know. But what I do know is the Scandinavian model - which is a hybrid of Capitalism and Socialism creates a happy society because they always top the charts of 'Happiest countries in the world', so I do expect that a form of Socialism can be expected in the future and that whether people in the future will exhange in currency will really depend on whether currency can maintain its fictional value status or not.
#15127704
Unthinking Majority wrote:So if there's 10 people on your team and 9 are working hard, and you want to work half-assed, the cost to society is low, but your personal gains are high (less work to do, can relax a bit, chat with friends, text your bestie).


The incentive to work hard is to not get fired. If your boss says "work hard" and there's 10 resumes on the boss's desk from people he interviewed last week for another position and they're ready to work hard and you go half-ass, you're gone.

Your idea of the corporate world is like a caricature. Have you ever worked for a large company? This will sound condescending again, but the corporate and business experience of many Marxists so numerous among 20-year old college students and most of their professors typically consists of a few summers working at Starbucks. Bullshit always works better on paper than under the complex dynamics and variables of the real world.


The problem is not that capitalism makes workers work harder or improve but that communism doesn't do that at all almost. The problem of communism is the low productivity and low output of its economy that comes from the fact that all workers are compensated more or less equally for doing different loads of work or their work contributing different amount of value or success in to the final product.

An example from my fathers experience in this that I wrote somewhere. Back in the 80's he worked as a head of a pipe laying crew(Water pipes). Half the people worked well and hard while the other half didn't show up for work or showed up drunk etc. Both got paid the same, why? This is clearly demotivational for the people who worked harder or wanted to improve. Notice that you can't really fire people under communism almost at all because the state mandated full employment. Not to mention, the amount of "useless" work that this created.

This is perhaps the biggest long term problem within socialism or communism that exists even in the Northern European versions. It is just less pronounced due to the liberal democratic framework.
#15127706
JohnRawls wrote:low productivity and low output

Unless you have a bent to fetishize 'money' as something other than a means to facilitate exchange, what does it matter?

Half the people worked well and hard while the other half didn't show up for work

It's not much different in a capitalist economy.

Take the US for example:

According to a recent study, almost half - 48 percent - of American women and 39 percent of men reported feeling underemployed.


:lol:
Last edited by ingliz on 15 Oct 2020 11:14, edited 1 time in total.
#15127714
ingliz wrote:Unless you have a bent to fetishize 'money' as something other than a means to facilitate exchange, what does it matter?


It's not much different in a capitalist economy.

Take the US for example:

According to a recent study, almost half - 48 percent - of American women and 39 percent of men reported feeling underemployed.


:lol:


In here lies the problem. It is not that capitalism doesn't have the problems that you are describing but the problems of capitalism ultimately don't lead to major systemic problems that lead to semi-collapse of the system. Or at least to the degree that they happen in communism/socialism that was used by the USSR and other heavy handed government approaches.

I know it is a lot of big words so let me do an examples:

When capitalism under employs people then it has little effect on the capitalism itself of sorts. The ones that suffer is the people that are underemployed. While inefficiency of useless work in socialism/communism piles on and in the end it leads once again all people suffering in the end.

Same thing i can say about fetishizing about money. Yes, consumerism is a problem. The difference is once again: Consuming a lot is not equal to not being able to consume. In one case you get fat but in the other you go hungry. Once again, not equal.

Even if capitalism have biased motivations like making more money, it doesn't mean that the capitalistic outcomes on average over a long period of time is worse than communism/socialism. The main reason why we are not communists/socialists is because capitalistic outcomes on average over a long period of time is better compared to communism/socialism.

Having said that communism/socialism is not that much worse compared to capitalism. In reality, it is the only competing social and economic ideology in the world. The others that we have besides capitalism and communism/socialism are WAY WAY WAY WAY worse than both of those. Perhaps it is the liberal democratic framework that helps capitalism come on top. Ultimately it is hard to say for sure.
#15127718
JohnRawls wrote:In here lies the problem. It is not that capitalism doesn't have the problems that you are describing but the problems of capitalism ultimately don't lead to major systemic problems that lead to semi-collapse of the system.


Please don't kid yourself. The only reason Capitalism has survived today is because of welfare. You can debate whether this is sufficient or not especially in regards to America, but without a degree of reestablishing wealth to lower classes they would have discovered their class distinction years ago that I am sure of. And that is not even going into macroeconomics where the government had to basically lent to itself to keep the financial institution running and the system flowing. Also it is a misnomer to say the USSR failed because of Socialism. It failed because of the invisible hand. That is it never modernised and the government focused on political science and national projects rather than focusing on market forces that come natural with Capitalism and would have to be artificially organised under government control. Had they have done that, there is no reason to believe anyone would have voted to break the SU because by and large it is a fairer system.
#15127721
JohnRawls wrote:I know it is a lot of big words

Only if your reading age is that of a dyslexic ten year old.

It's a lot of small words.


:lol:
#15127723
B0ycey wrote:There are laws to prevent employers just firing anyone unless you Yanks has also taken away workers rights


Depends on the state. Here in Texas, we are an "at will" state, which means, yes, companies can fire you for almost any reason. Though discriminatory reasons are illegal (age, sex, sexual orientation, etc.). It also means that employees can quit at will and not be legally liable for anything. For example, I could be working on a critical project for my company with a short deadline. I could stop showing up (with out notice) right before the project is due causing millions of dollars of lost revenue, and the company cannot legally go after me for that. Of course, no one does his, because it would destroy their future career prospects, but theoretically you could do this as a worker.

Practically speaking, I would say, yes, they can fire just about anyone. Again though, depends on the state.

ingliz wrote:Unless you have a bent to fetishize 'money' as something other than a means to facilitate exchange, what does it matter?


Money is the most important thing, what's wrong with your head?
#15127732
Rancid wrote:Depends on the state. Here in Texas, we are an "at will" state, which means, yes, companies can fire you for almost any reason. Though discriminatory reasons are illegal (age, sex, sexual orientation, etc.). It also means that employees can quit at will and not be legally liable for anything. For example, I could be working on a critical project for my company with a short deadline. I could stop showing up (with out notice) right before the project is due causing millions of dollars of lost revenue, and the company cannot legally go after me for that. Of course, no one does his, because it would destroy their future career prospects, but theoretically you could do this as a worker.

Practically speaking, I would say, yes, they can fire just about anyone. Again though, depends on the state.


Sounds pretty fucked up. I know in the UK there is a number of hoops to jump through to fire someone and I would say that is how it should be to stop being seen as expendable. There is of course still redundancies but you can't then just rehire and there is a payoff in most cases so isn't really free for the business in any case.

Although I don't believe people in general inspire or deliberately aim to be unproductive in any case which I think was Unthinking Majority initial point, if society didn't have the concept of money in it, the aim would still be to finish the job in any case and perhaps time would be the motivation to get it done and done properly. Capitalism doesn't hold a monopoly on motivation but it perhaps does on self interest which is an important expect in social progress and evolved improvement. State intervention if focused on a project, as seen by the Soviets really winning the space race, can override even this hurdle I might add.
#15127747
Rancid wrote:
The current system is working well for me, so why should I call for revolution? The amount of upward mobility that has happened between my grandmothers generation and me is astronomical.

This is why there isn't going to be a revolution anytime soon. Life is still too good for many people.



Well maybe people won't continue to think on such an *individualistic* basis -- look at climate change, for example, and the ongoing disruptions to the weather and environment. Maybe *that* would be a mass political basis for ending capitalism.


Rancid wrote:
That said, the current system certainly feels unsustainable, but that doesn't mean a revolution is required to fix it either (i.e. don't throw the baby out with the bath water).



'Fix' isn't quite the appropriate word to use here since a (proletarian) revolution would *discard* the social practice of capital / money / markets / exchanges / barter / trade / exchange-values.

Capitalism features *overproduction* and *artificial scarcity* at the same time, which is certainly *monstrous* enough to be discarded, finally.


Rancid wrote:
In short, better the devil I know (capitalism), than the devil I don't know (communism).



You're making it sound like some kind of automatic psychological *fait accompli*, though -- do you control your own psychological political sentiment, or *don't* you?
#15127752
Unthinking Majority wrote:
So if there's 10 people on your team and 9 are working hard, and you want to work half-assed, the cost to society is low, but your personal gains are high (less work to do, can relax a bit, chat with friends, text your bestie).



There would be no salaries or wages because labor would no longer be commodified.

Consider as being similar to PoFo here -- either the effort for discussion, etc., is put-in by participants here, or else it *isn't*. Likewise there could be an *identical* social process for a *post-capitalist* political economy, one in which discussions like these would actually apply to specific *real world* production processes.

Since it would be inhumane to deny 'commons' and natural materials to anyone (that which is mass-produced by anyone and/or nature) -- *and* there would be no government for any 'oversight' and 'enforcement' -- then that means that *anyone* could simply live off of society and/or nature without doing a single minute of work in return, and no one could do anything about it, ultimately.

However, for your scenario, you're *outnumbered* 9-to-1, and the co-workers might begin to share the sentiment in common that you could do all of that shit *at home*.


Unthinking Majority wrote:
The incentive to work hard is to not get fired. If your boss says "work hard" and there's 10 resumes on the boss's desk from people he interviewed last week for another position and they're ready to work hard and you go half-ass, you're gone.



Yup, that's because the bourgeoisie *enforce* with *violence* their social construction of 'private property', which translates to *elitism* over the distribution of things that people *need* for modern life. In other words it's *coercion* since it's their game, that of private ownership over the means of mass industrial production.

Money, and thus power, is *easy* for the elite owners because they're continuously exploiting others' *labor power* to get that money, while those who do the actual *work*, for the production of things, are *disadvantaged* by *not* having any say-so over how the machines of mass-production are used and where the resulting products *go*.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
Workers under capitalist property relations have no *incentive* to work harder for the boss because it's not like they would be *rewarded* for it, or see their wages go up. Wages have *stagnated* while workers' productivity has *increased*



Unthinking Majority wrote:
Your idea of the corporate world is like a caricature. Have you ever worked for a large company? This will sound condescending again, but the corporate and business experience of many Marxists so numerous among 20-year old college students and most of their professors typically consists of a few summers working at Starbucks. Bullshit always works better on paper than under the complex dynamics and variables of the real world.



You're *dissembling* here, and not-addressing the point I'm making about *incentive* for the worker -- workers get the short end of the stick, so there's no empirical *incentive* to identify with the boss' interests, and work harder.

It's physically easier to not-work than to *work*, so if work / effort is to be expended, it needs to be rewarded. Workers aren't at the workplace to be *volunteers* and *altruists* to the capitalist ruling class.
#15127755
B0ycey wrote:
whether people in the future will exhange in currency will really depend on whether currency can maintain its fictional value status or not.



The following diagram is intended / contextualized for a *post-capitalist* paradigm, but it could be readily applied to existing *capitalist* society:


Pies Must Line Up

Spoiler: show
Image
#15127768
JohnRawls wrote:
The problem is not that capitalism makes workers work harder or improve but that communism doesn't do that at all almost. The problem of communism is the low productivity and low output of its economy that comes from the fact that all workers are compensated more or less equally for doing different loads of work or their work contributing different amount of value or success in to the final product.

An example from my fathers experience in this that I wrote somewhere. Back in the 80's he worked as a head of a pipe laying crew(Water pipes). Half the people worked well and hard while the other half didn't show up for work or showed up drunk etc. Both got paid the same, why? This is clearly demotivational for the people who worked harder or wanted to improve. Notice that you can't really fire people under communism almost at all because the state mandated full employment. Not to mention, the amount of "useless" work that this created.

This is perhaps the biggest long term problem within socialism or communism that exists even in the Northern European versions. It is just less pronounced due to the liberal democratic framework.



You're actually referring to *Stalinism*, since it was *Stalin's* idea to constrain a so-called "socialism" to just one country, and to administer over workers with a nationalist bureaucratic elite.

Sure, it's relatively better than paying capitalists the cost of their 'profits', from funding, but it's certainly not actual workers-of-the-world socialism, where all production could take place *consciously collectively* and bosses would be no more.

As I've already addressed, to UM, a *collectivized* society would rise and fall as one, mostly, so incentive would be *collective*, instead of individual, as in *fully automating* all productive industrial processes, so that *zero* human effort would be required to produce things, for all.


skinster wrote:
Think I'm going to start a thread called Why I'm No Longer A Fascist. :D



It's the decor. (grin)


JohnRawls wrote:
In here lies the problem. It is not that capitalism doesn't have the problems that you are describing but the problems of capitalism ultimately don't lead to major systemic problems that lead to semi-collapse of the system. Or at least to the degree that they happen in communism/socialism that was used by the USSR and other heavy handed government approaches.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Recession

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_stock_market_crash


JohnRawls wrote:
I know it is a lot of big words so let me do an examples:

When capitalism under employs people then it has little effect on the capitalism itself of sorts. The ones that suffer is the people that are underemployed. While inefficiency of useless work in socialism/communism piles on and in the end it leads once again all people suffering in the end.



Since industrial mass-production confers *immense* productivity ratios, per unit of human labor, it's no longer about how much or how little any individual worker *works*, because *on the whole* there's sufficient labor effort to make industrial mass-production happen, to mass-produce commodities.

You're inappropriately using Western-type *reductionism*, to myopically look at the situation on a worker-by-worker basis, which is *meaningless* to the overall situation of highly-leveraged labor on highly *industrialized* machinery, for mass production. (Also we're not living in the 1940s any longer.)


JohnRawls wrote:
Same thing i can say about fetishizing about money. Yes, consumerism is a problem. The difference is once again: Consuming a lot is not equal to not being able to consume. In one case you get fat but in the other you go hungry. Once again, not equal.

Even if capitalism have biased motivations like making more money, it doesn't mean that the capitalistic outcomes on average over a long period of time is worse than communism/socialism. The main reason why we are not communists/socialists is because capitalistic outcomes on average over a long period of time is better compared to communism/socialism.



'Outcomes' -- ?

What outcomes?


JohnRawls wrote:
Having said that communism/socialism is not that much worse compared to capitalism. In reality, it is the only competing social and economic ideology in the world. The others that we have besides capitalism and communism/socialism are WAY WAY WAY WAY worse than both of those. Perhaps it is the liberal democratic framework that helps capitalism come on top. Ultimately it is hard to say for sure.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employmen ... tion_ratio

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